Things recruiters don’t want to see in your resume
Things recruiters don’t want to see in your resume

Things recruiters don’t want to see in your resume

What is the job of an HR manager? HR managers spend most of their days digging through piles of CVs. These CVs vary greatly, and some are better than others. A few pass the control stage and get rewarded with a job interview; the rest go into the archives (depending on quality) or the bin. Of course, the reasons for the latter are very different and mostly depend on the recruiters themselves.

With all that, there are also a number of “double NO” points every recruiter takes into consideration, and that’s what we’re going to talk about here.

Empty adjectives

Okay, let’s say you have god-level responsibility, a monstrous number of successful projects and genius ideas one after another. All of these are amazing, but let’s leave them behind. Whoever thinks it’s a good idea to list all these personal characteristics in a CV, really stop – it’s not. These empty adjectives won’t help the recruiter gain useful insight, because you can’t really prove them without continuous work and intercommunication.

Any recruiter would prefer someone with proof of their qualities. So it’s kind of bad idea to tell an HR manager you’re a natural-born leader unless you have something with which to back it up.


Let’s be clear straight away – recommendations are cool. If a candidate provides some contacts so the HR manager can investigate the newbie’s eligibility, that’s amazing. And it works other way around, too; you can find out if your candidate is lying.

But there is one little point a candidate should be aware of: when to provide them. For starters, it’s not the best idea to push these into a CV. A note such as “references available on request” is totally fine. It’s taken as read that references will be available, and to mention this now can, unfortunately, make your candidate come off as green.

False information

We bet you are familiar with that overwhelming urge to fix a few small details about your job two years ago where you stayed for ten months. It could be a whole year, yes! It seems so easy to just add two months to make it look attractive… but it’s better to resist the temptation.

Not many people even suspect that candidates can give themselves a lot of problems because of this (seemingly) small lie. For example, a question about a non-existent project can emerge, which will result in absolute failure. Or the recruiter might ask for a reference about the project.

Well, a blatant lie in a CV is a complicated matter. Even if the candidate is accepted, he must carry this burden with him. Not to mention that lying is morally wrong. It’s just wrong.


Gaps in employment history

Yes, things happen. Sometimes a person is unable to work properly, or there is no need to be employed. That’s how gaps in employment histories come about. Yes, it’s possible that the reason is unemployment, but these gaps can also signal the presence of poor candidate who has been turned away by other employers.

Whatever the case, the employer might want to know what you have been doing for the last few years. It’s wise to prepare candidates in case such a situation arises. What are the choices? Well, it’s simple: traveling, studying or family issues are any candidate’s best bets. Alternatively, it’s acceptable to remove months from a resume and leave years if it’s a matter of a few months.

Poor grammar

Let’s be clear: nobody likes poor grammar. A CV with mistakes in won’t do… not at all. Use Microsoft Word for spell-checking, because it always hurts to see misspelled terms and a lack of commas. It’s not even about the recruiting process; it’s a matter of respect.

It’s huge

HR managers are not people with lots of free time; they take care of employees while searching for new blood at the same time. With that in mind, it’s not the best decision to force them to read a ten-page novel, “The most compelling CV in the world.” The time they spend on reading long resumes could be spent on their daily duties, so have some mercy.

It’s acceptable to have a long list of previous employers, but it’s worth remembering to keep each entry brief. According to many recruiters, it’s best to have no more than two or three pages.

It’s small

Don’t overdo things; an extremely short CV is even worse than an overly long one. It’s good to have at least one full page, even if your work experience is slight. Fill up the space with education details, a skills list and vision for the vacant position.

Free time

It’s not the recruiter’s business to know what occupies a candidate’s spare time. He or she might be a hot-dog-eating champion, wrestling-obsessed geek or cat lover, but it’s not the best idea to include this information in a resume.

If the recruiter is still interested, it’s possible to address the question during an initial job interview.


All candidates, no matter who, must remember that they are applying to a job, and that their CV is a formal document. So cursing, everyday language and smileys are not acceptable.


Of course, if a job requires design skills, a resume is a good way to display these. However, if it doesn’t require such skills, the best idea is to stick with a formal style rather than making it a unicorn’s dream with dozens of colors. Some formal decoration would benefit the resume, otherwise it’s bad idea to colorize your chance for employment.

Although standards vary from company to company, there are certain rules to follow when it comes to writing a CV. You can find those everywhere; just search for them. Use them to your heart’s content, and you’ll be good to go.

Good luck with your employment!

Image credit: Shutterstock

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